Mothers of the streets

Know humanity. Know respect.

So yesterday I went out and did something I've been wanting to do for a while. It was a seed planted at the back of my mind that a lot of creative people are familiar with. An idea that just needs to be carried out. I took photographs of women that beg for money on the side of the road with their children, with the help of my assistant Lihle.

It's kind of a weird thing to do on a Wednesday afternoon, but I did it to try and shatter the mask of de-sensitivity that has attached itself to the perception of the middle to upper class South Africans that drive passed every single day. It really upsets me to see how we've lost our compassion, become blinded to suffering and how it's become socially acceptable.

As I lowered myself down onto the rocky ground for a low angle shot, hoping that the broken glass wouldn't cut my skin through my clothing it occurred to me that most children around the age of the little girl who sat patiently with her mother in front of me, would be sitting in front of a TV watching cartoons and surrounded by toys at that very same moment.

It doesn't matter how they got there, it doesn't matter why they got there. They are there. It's real. That is their reality every single day. They deserve respect. They deserve a smile. They deserve a wave.

You don't have to give money to give charity. Giving something at all is good enough. I wrote a rhythm and poetry piece about it too. 

My hope is that this post makes people stop and re-think the way they treat those less fortunate than themselves. And that even if people don't want to spare some money, they can find it in their hearts to spare some humanity.

I'm going to end off with a quote from a discussion that this article inspired with a very smart woman who's incredibly passionate about so much of the bad things that snuck up with modern society.

I think that along with privilege this city has killed a part of our souls. There is no way that a healthy hearted person can normalize homelessness and poverty to a point where it doesn’t touch them in the slightest.
— Mamello Sejake

Know respect. Know Humanity.